Cruise lines to suspend sailing from US ports into September

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Cruise lines have agreed to suspend sailing from U.S. ports until Sept. 15, trade group Cruise Lines International Association announced Friday.

The cruise industry shut down in March ahead of a no-sail order from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still in place that prevents any ship from sailing from U.S. ports. in an effort to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Florida is home to the top three ports in the world for passenger traffic: Miami, Port Canaveral and Port Everglades.

“Due to the ongoing situation within the U.S. related to COVID-19, CLIA member cruise lines have decided to voluntarily extend the period of suspended passenger operations,” a statement reads from the group.

The CDC order expires July 24.

“Although we had hoped that cruise activity could resume as soon as possible after that date, it is increasingly clear that more time will be needed to resolve barriers to resumption in the United States.” reads the statement.

CLIA members include most major cruise lines including Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Norwegian, Princess, Celebrity, MSC and Disney Cruise Line.

The members opted for the mid-September halt to U.S. sailings to allow for more consultation with the CDC, according to the statement.

Several lines had planned a return to sailing as early as July 31, but would have needed CDC-approved plans on how they would return to sailing with COVID-19 safety measures, such as capacity limits on ships, in place. While those plans have been in the works, no cruise line has come forward with final details.

“Although we are confident that future cruises will be healthy and safe, and will fully reflect the latest protective measures, we also feel that it is appropriate to err on the side of caution to help ensure the best interests of our passengers and crew members,” the CLIA statement said.


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